2002 Toyota RAV4 Edge 2.0L VVTi 4 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand


Poorly built engine and gearbox. The rest is good


Gearbox - Really badly built gearbox from Toyota, and they knew they were faulty from the start when first sold. The gearbox slips and sometimes doesn't engage the gears at all. Took the vehicle to a mechanic, and he basically said if you can't find another gearbox, then the car is pretty much useless, as cost of repairs to the gearbox were through the roof.

Engine - This motor was designed with a really small oil pick up and probably about 50mm in diameter. So blockage of the filter in the sump case is inevitable, and blockage of the pipe picking up the oil is also a real possibility, as it was in my case. The motor on mine was so built up with sludge that the oil pick up couldn't circulate the oil, and hence the motor seized and is now useless.

Economy - The 2.0L VVTi Edge model I have is a 4 door and is constant four wheel drive, thus making the economy of the vehicle extremely poor. Would fill the tank and get 450km to a tank; 500km if you're lucky!! So you get to know the gentleman at the service station by his first name in other words...

Dealership problems - I understand that the vehicle was only in my possession for 4 or 5 months before it blew up on me, and that the previous owner probably neglected the car and did not service it on time or at all, and the reason for the engine blowing up was not the dealership's fault... HOWEVER, when I had the car towed to the dealership and explained to them there was a knock in the engine, and that I wasn't sure what it was, they said they would have a look and get back to me. The next day they phoned and said I could pick the car up, and that the noise was a seized tensioner, and that caused the slack in the belt or chain, and was rattling on the cover causing the noise. I paid AU$700 and picked the car up, only to drive it 200m down the road and that knocking noise came straight back again, if not worse than before!! I took it back, and they were shocked and confused, and I asked the chap if they even bothered to test drive the cars before they hand them back to customers, and he said they did, which I believe to be a lie to my face, otherwise they would have picked up this problem.

So they looked over the car again, and then said they wanted to do a flush on the motor etc, and see where we stand after this and go from there, and that would cost a further $600 for this. I refused this, and took the car to my local mechanic, and he basically said the motor is about 5 km from seizing and that it was useless to anyone unless I put a new motor in it, which isn't happening! Basically I can't believe I paid $700 for a tensioner and was about to pay another $600, only for Toyota to tell me that I need another engine and that one was stuffed. I can't believe these people, who claim to be experts on their own product, would have taken over $1000 before telling me that the engine was stuffed, and I feel that there is NO trust when it comes to dealerships any more; they just get you into a vehicle, then couldn't care less about you after the point of sale. It's really disturbing, and I feel I should be refunded, but I won't kick up dust. All I will say is don't buy any vehicle with no service history, and definitely not a RAV4 from the 2002 era

General Comments:

Good for a play around car, but wouldn't get too cocky off road.

They are heavy on gas because of the constant 4WD (would be better if it was selective).

The engines are known to build up sludge, and the 50mm oil pick up blocks very easily, so be warned as you will seize the motor and won't even know why or how until it's too late.

Very nice looking car though, and good height on the road and not too much roll. Just unfortunate about the issues I've have and the reviews I've seen online. I probably should have researched the car first.

Previous models prior to 2000 are bullet proof, and models after 2004 are good; just stay away from these second hand 2002s, and research them online before you buy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th April, 2013

20th Apr 2013, 06:28

I know someone who had one of these RAV4s in Brisbane since it was new (2002 I think) and she traded it for a new RAV4 a couple of years ago. I believe the only trouble she had was a couple of dead batteries and a leaking sunroof in around 120,000km. Toyota wanted a huge amount of money to fix the sunroof, which contributed to her getting rid of it. I was considering buying her old RAV4 off her myself, but after reading this I'm glad I didn't. I assumed it had a reliable old Camry or Corona engine in it, but it seems not.

16th Oct 2013, 22:57

I agree. My 2002 RAV4 Edge has been a nightmare and I wish I had never got it.

Had the worst experiences ever with 3 separate Toyota dealers since having this car, and will never ever buy or even look at another Toyota again.

Poor dealer service, poorly made car.

Both thumbs down. Avoid the 2002 RAV4 like the plague!

2002 Toyota RAV4 4wd 2.0 from North America


Cute, unreliable, uninspired!


Two day ago we joined the very sizable crowd of Rav owners with transmission problems. The dealer said a new ECM and transmission were needed. Total cost $4600.00!! Warranty on this repair was only 1 year/unlimited miles. My wife almost cried - it's the car she drives.

When we caught our breath, we said "no, thanks" and left with the car. At least we were not charged for the diagnosis!

Did a bit of research and found a company called A.T.E. (auto & truck electronics) (866) 983-6688 that will repair/upgrade the ECM for around $200.00, so I will send them the ECM and hope the transmission/transaxle is not already damaged. Seems worth a try!

General Comments:

This car, while short on engine power and completely lacking any sporting blood, is well suited to around town errand runs and short trips.

Fit and finish are good, but not outstanding.

Fuel mileage in mid 20's max.

We have owned eight (8) Toyotas, but due to Toyota's lack of concern over an obvious and serious defect, it will absolutely be our last Toyota!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th May, 2010